2021 British Columbia Provincial Election

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2021 British Columbia Provincial Election

The BC provincial election is scheduled to be held on October 16, 2021. The last two polls in BC done in mid to late June gave the NDP 17% and 18% leads, thanks to the view that Horgan has handled the Covid-19 pandemic well. However, a week in politics is an eternity and the BC Liberals will be trying to grab the roughly 10%-13% of the vote that currently says it favours the BC Conservatives, something they and the Socreds have historically succeeded in doing to a large extent. Below is the Ekos poll. Since February when Covid-19 first became an issue in the province, earlier polls had given the NDP leads of 5%, 6%, 18%, 8% and 9% (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/42nd_British_Columbia_general_election), reflecting the growing support that handling the virus well has helped give the NDP.

 The NDP has a healthy 17-point lead over the Liberals in British Columbia (46 to 29), with the Greens in a distant third at 13 points among decided voters. A further 12% support other parties. One-in-five voters (19%) remain undecided. The NDP currently runs the province in a minority government with support in confidence votes from the Green Party, while the “pro free-enterprise” Liberal Party has the most seats, but is in opposition.

The NDP is up six points from the 40% they won in the 2017 election. The Liberals, with their new leader Andrew Wilkinson is down 11 points (they also won 40% in 2017). The leaderless Green Party is down four points from 17% in 2017. The Greens will be electing a new leader in September. The 12% of decided voters who back “other parties” are likely backing the moribund BC Conservative Party, who only ran 10 candidates in the last election. Voters deciding to park their vote here could explain the 11 point drop for the Liberals in the highly polarized BC electorate.

The NDP leads in every region of the province except the Interior, where they are in a statistical tie with the Liberals, trailing them 37% to 35%. Of note, “other parties” is polling at 17% in the Interior, a traditionally conservative-leaning part of the province, further suggesting that respondents who selected this option likely back the provincial Conservative Party. The NDP has the largest lead in the Greater Victoria Area, where they have a 28 point edge (53-25) over the Liberals. The Greens, who won 2 seats in the Victoria area in 2017, are also polling well in the capital at 19%. While there is only a five-point gender gap for the NDP, which is polling at 44% among men and 49% among women, the gender gap is much stronger for the Liberals, which are polling at 35% among men and just 23% among women. The gender gap is the inverse for the Greens, which are polling at 9% among men and 17% among women.

While the NDP seems to have a decent lead over the Liberals, one cannot ignore the polarization of the BC electorate. Since the 2005 election, the two parties have always been within 5 points of each other in provincial elections. If most of the 12% of decided voters who say they’re voting ‘other’ do end up backing the Liberals, the race does become much closer, and that’s not even accounting for the 19% of the electorate that is undecided.





The other recent poll by Insights West discusses in more detail how success in dealing with Covid-19 has propelled Horgan's popularity to 68%, the highest of any political leader in Insight West's eight years of polling in BC, and the NDP's popularity to an 18% lead over the BC Liberals.

British Columbians are overwhelmingly supportive of the work Premier John Horgan is doing to address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to a poll released on Tuesday.

According to the Insights West poll, 68 per cent of respondents approved of the work Horgan is doing, up 17 points from the last poll. Support for the B.C. NDP has risen to 47 per cent, an increase of 12 points.

“The government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has apparently resulted in a massive increase in approval ratings for the BC NDP and Premier John Horgan,” Insights West said in a release.

Insights West goes on to say Horgan’s approval rating is the highest of any B.C. political leader since they began tracking eight years ago. ...

According to those polled, the COVID-19 crisis is the number one issue facing British Columbians right now, with 32 per cent choosing it as the most important issue facing the province.

The government’s handling of the pandemic received sky-high approval levels from those polled, with 85 per cent thinking the government has done a good job of combating the virus.

Housing prices, listed by 13 per cent of respondents, is the second-most pressing issue, ending a five-year run at the top of the list.

Housing prices are still the top concern among residents aged 18 to 34, with 24 per cent in that demographic listing it as a top concern.

Horgan has said repeatedly he has no plans on triggering an election this year. But doing so could be electorally beneficial. Based on the polling data, the B.C. New Democrats would win a majority government in the next election. ...

“These approval ratings could translate into a landslide victory for Horgan when we go to the polls,” the release reads.

“In fact, if an election were held right now, the NDP would receive 47 per cent of the decided popular vote primarily at the expense of other parties which have seen their support diminish since the start of the pandemic.”

According to the poll, BC Liberal voting intentions have dropped to 29 per cent, the lowest total since the 2017 provincial election. The Greens have also dropped to 11 per cent. The poll includes the BC Conservatives, who were named by 12 per cent of those polls as their choice in the next election.

Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson has seen his personal approval dropped five points to 30 per cent. Interim Green leader Adam Olsen has made his debut at a 29 per cent approval, the lowest result of any Green leader in an Insights West poll since the 2017 election.

“Perhaps some consolation for the opposition parties is the fact that the undecided vote is particularly high at 23 per cent right now, as the election race is far from the top of the public agenda,” the release reads. ...

The results are based on an online study conducted from June 24 to 28, 2020 among a sample of 830 B.C. residents. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.



The NDP do face quite a few challenges. A second wave of Covid-19 handled badly could see their numbers crashing quickly. Even right now there is the beginning of a small rise in the daily new infection rate, but if they continue to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry's advice they may well weather this issue.

Housing was the #2 issue on voters minds and #1 for younger voters, as housing prices remain sky-high in Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna although somewhat lower than earlier. But the BC Liberals face an uphill fight in championing housing after its leader, Andrew Wilkinson was quoted "calling renting a “wacky time of life,” “fun,” “enjoyable” and a “rite of passage” during prepared remarks in the legislature" in 2019, in his silverspoon foot in the mouth comments.(https://globalnews.ca/news/5013443/andrew-wilkinson-walks-back-wacky-ren...)

Although the provincial budget went from a small surplus to a $12.5 billion deficit in a few months, this kind of mushrooming debt is now common around the world as we face a global economic crisis. Many people are now much more interested in whether they have enough money to survive than worrying about debt problems. 

The NDP's attachment to megaprojects like LNG pipelines and Hydro dams could create problems if things don't work out but at least they don't own the $17 billion Trans Mountain pipeline boondoggle. However the LNG pipeline running through Wet'suwet'en land could flare up again creating another crisis. 

The provincial and federal Green party leaders have yet to be chosen, so their impact on the next election is yet to be seen. Unfortunately, most people continue to ignore the global warming crisis in the same way they ignored scientists warnings that we were overdue for a catastrophic pandemic crisis. Now they are focusing on the crisis immediately killing many people and responding to climate change much as in the cartoon below. I predict the price for not dealing with climate change until the deaths start piling up in large numbers will be even greater than from the Covid-19 pandemic. However, as a species we are biologically designed to deal with immediate problems, no matter how great long-term problems may be. The Greens, like the NDP, have also not always been consistent in their environmental advocacy, and thus face a number of issues in challenging the NDP.

Cartoonist Mike Luckovich  Mike Luckovich's Editorial Cartoons 2020-03-22 thought

Mike Luckovich's Editorial Cartoons by Mike Luckovich (2020-03-22)Image #182340

The drug overdose epidemic killed almost as many people in the month of June as Covid has since the start of the pandemic, but this does not get the media coverage that Covid has. Furthermore, many people sadly think of those who overdose as junkies, although that is starting to change, so it is another problem that could flare up before the election.




The BC NDP is going to run as the new liberal party against Wilkinson who sounds a lot like a Harper Conservative. I cannot vote for them after Site C and LNG have made a mockery of reconciliation. I have joined the BC Ecosocialists because we need the debate to be pushed into talking about real community solutions.


The BC Ecosocialists.

A party that is to the left of the NDP and greener than the Greens. We know that it’s not a dream, but a practical reality that we can all live decent lives without having to keep someone else down. We have the resources to house everyone. We can feed everyone, without subjecting them to the humiliation of food banks. We can afford to provide childcare to everyone who needs it. We want to better tax rich people and corporations to fund better policies, like building tens of thousands of units of social housing, building new green energy and transportation infrastructure while putting a moratorium on all new fossil fuel infrastructure including all LNG. We oppose discrimination on the basis of race, class, sexual orientation, gender and disability. These values inform our policies from the bottom up; they are part of a framework of material as well as judicial rights that will shape building codes, vehicle design, program delivery and funding as well as employment equity in both the private and public sectors. We believe in decolonization; that means returning power, land and resources to Indigenous people, not just tearful apologies and photo-ops.